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Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Posted on: January 23, 2012 6:27 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 9:28 pm
Thomas elected not to visit the White House with teammates (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

WASHINGTON -- The Boston Bruins were at the White House on Monday to meet President Barack Obama. Well, almost all of them.

There was one very notable absence as the Bruins were honored in the East Room of the White House. Nobody could seem to find Tim Thomas among the crowd of players in the background. Soon enough, word got out that he elected to skip the event.

"He chose not to come. The reasons behind it I think he'll make the media aware through his Facebook," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said after the ceremony.

Sure enough, the reasons were made clear. Here is the message Thomas posted a little after 6 ET on his Facebook page.

I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT

There was a lot of anger across the hockey world on Monday because of Thomas' decision not to show up. I don't understand it one bit.

Let me say that I, myself, would never turn down an opportunity to be honored by the President of the United States, no matter how much I dislike him. It's about the office, the individual.

With that said, I have zero problem with Thomas passing on it. None at all. He has his beliefs and convictions and has every right to stand up for them. To the people who are complaining that he is being selfish and taking away from the team's spotlight, I say mission: accomplished. Look how much attention he is getting because of this and thus getting his political views shared with everybody.

"Everybody has their own opinions and political beliefs. He chose not to join us," team president Cam Neely told the media after the ceremony. "We certainly would have liked to have him come and join us but that's his choice. All the guys came except for Tim. It's his decision and his choice."

Neely would later release another statement on the matter, this time a little more officially than his after-ceremony comments to the media.

"As an organization we were honored by President Obama's invitation to the White House. It was a great day and a perfect way to cap our team's achievement from last season. It was a day that none of us will soon forget. We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us, and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization. This will be the last public comment from the Bruins organization on this subject."

Nobody should be upset about this, it's just not a big deal. He declined to go, so be it. What's the big deal?

My only issue with it is that it added a more newsy element to an otherwise light-hearted day for the Bruins. Well that and the mixing of hockey and politics. That's never a good idea.

There are so many mixed feelings on all of this, and I'm not talking about the politics themselves. Of course people won't agree on that. But sometimes you have athletes who are chided for not caring enough, not using their positions of power to make an impact. Then when players do just that, they get ripped for sharing their political views; why do we care what a goaltender thinks about big government?

I say anything that leads to discussion can't hurt. And after seeing some of the players and team officials after the ceremony, I don't think it detracted much from their experiences either. Really, this is a case of no harm, no foul for me. The man had a choice to make and he made it.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bruins honored at the White House

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Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:22 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Are the people that are questioning the decision by Tim Thomas not to attend the Bruins visit to the White House also questioning the very freedoms on which this great country was founded?  Are you all hypocrits or morons?  Our government will garner respect when it learns to respect the people it governs.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:19 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

I hope he gets BOOOOO'ed for the rest of the year in every arena! Just like that's our right! Idiot!!!

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:18 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:16 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Hey Lizard_King, Just a Heads up under the new PIPA and/or SOPA laws you better change your Yankee Logo. The Current Governement Elites will fine you or maybe even put you in jail for internet copyright infringement ! They don't beleive in these bills or even in declining the recent keystone pipeline proposal, they just need Hollywoods support and the support of the environmentalists to get re-elected. The Government is Waaayy out of control !!! I actually like your post and would hate to see you get fined.

Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:14 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Holy crap redsoxfan, who the hell told you the White House was inviting the Bruins to the WH becuase they care about their "blood, sweat and tears". Obama is from Chicago, he couldn't give a crap about the Bruins, trust me on that one. In case you missed it, the reason this happens is because once upon a time the President decided to do it and the next President kept doing it, or in other words it became a tradition. But the point is, President's do this to honor the accomplishments of our sports teams. I'm sure its done today as much as an opportunity to garner votes in the victorious city. Having said that this should have been treated as an honor for the players, not an opportunity to make a selfish political statement. Bruin teammates can now thank Thomas for tarnishing their day to be "honored". Making a political statement could have been accomplished on any other stage that Tim Thomas wished...... 

Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:08 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Respect the office of the President of the United States......Who cares who the President is?  Respect the office, and respect the privelege.  

Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:06 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Some of the posts I have read are trashing a man that made a decision, his right as a citizen of this country not to attend this so called celebration as a trash bag.  I don't get it, he has the right for his opinion and he said it, get off of him.  Nobody should boo him, just respect him.  I like that fact that he can be honest and upfront about his opinion about this government.  Do you want freedom of speech or you want that abolished too?  athletes, sports figures are supposed to keep their opinions to themselves, act hunky doory, forget that.  I think if I was ever in that position, I wouldn't go either, not just b/c i think the gov't at this juncture is not "for the people" but more b/c I think it is stupid!                                                                                                                                     

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:06 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Great article by Stubits. I agree that 'anger' in the hockey world that TT turned down the trip is more than a bit misplaced. I'm impressed that his company, which effectively owns him, didn't require him to attend. Mine would have, and they don't own me to anywhere near the same degree.

All of that  being said...pennstater66, you're da man! Or da woman, whichever, makes no diff to me.  Best comment I have ever seen on these or any other boards!

TT absolutely has the right not go (if his owners allow), but his reason is pretty much crap in my opinion.

Reading it, I wasn't sure that it wasn't Glenn Beck talking. I kept seeing Florida seniors, duped by Faux news,  screaming "The government has no place with their hands in our MediCare!"
Sorry TT, but dude, you make way way more in a year than most people, me included, will make in their lifetimes. This country has been bad for you has it? Too many regulations keeping you from going to college and playing professional sports?

You know, the smart move woulda been to go, grab the man's hand and not let go until you've said you're piece about how things need to change.  I'm quite sure he would have listened to you. Really want to fix things? Tell the people who can do something about it. You had a shot to the top... and didn't take it.

You lose.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:01 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

Go Timmy !! Since when do we not as Americans have a right to decline an invitation ?? So, He should go because it is the President who invites him ? Should he have to go if it is the Vice President who invites him ? What about the speaker of house ? Senate Majority Leader ? A Supreme Court Justice ? A Senator from Maine ? Who Decides at what level he MUST accept ?? You ??? Good for Him ! He is not alone in thinking this country is heading in the wrong direction. So he should go just for respect ? Respect is earned and most people in Government on both sides have done little to gain respect of most Americans.. Me, I would go just cause it would be cool to see the white house, but I would find it hard to shake the hands of any top government official at this moment in history. Now I respect the office and always will, but the office is not extending it's hand, it is people who are doing the disrespect of the office and abusing it that are... Long live the Freedom of choice, and of course the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while it still exists  !!

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:01 pm

Thomas explains decision to not visit White House

What a dirtbag.  This was nothing more than bumper sticker politics.  He got some PR punk to write it for him and then hid.

If he wants to take a stand, good for him.  But to make a grandiose announcement and then state he will not discuss it any further?  That's just plain cowardice.

I'll be rooting for anyone except the Bruins, they should have called him out instead of supporting this dirtbag and his disrespect for the office of the presidency (yes, the office, I don't much care for Obama either).

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